The History of Peru
All About
 A Look At The Past

The Incas

People began to live in communities in Peru about 15,000 years ago in the cave of Pikimachay found in a valley of the Andes Mountains near Ayacucho, south of Lima. A number of different native cultures grew and controlled different areas of the Andes before the arrival of the Spanish. These groups include the Chavin, the Huari and the most famous, the Incas.

The Incas mastered the arts of building with stone, farming and astronomy. Inca rulers made the empire larger by establishing laws and training warriors. By the 1500s the Inca empire covered most of the western part of South America from Columbia to Chile.
The Incas
The Incan Empire
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See Video of Spanish Conquest

The Conquistadores

In the early 1500s explorers from Spain arrived in South America and began to control the Inca people and all the land of Peru by the 1530s. The King of Spain appointed a governor to force the Inca people to follow Spanish laws and customs. The Native people were made to become Christian and show their submission by taking Spanish names. The Spanish rulers of the land forced men, women and children to work in mines and on plantations. The Spanish governor made Lima the capital city of all of South America.
Spanish rulers stayed in Peru for almost 300 years. During these years many Spanish people came from Spain to look for riches and a place to live.
Conquest of the Incas

Modern Peru

Peru became independent from Spain and formed its own government on July 28, 1821. Native people from Peru led by individuals like Tupac Amaru and Maria Parado de Bellido struggled for many years against Spanish rulers. 

Since becoming independent Peru has been ruled by democratic governments, dictators and by the military. In May 1980, the people of Peru declared themselves a democracy and have tried to keep their government in the hands of the people, but this has been difficult because development of resources has been slow. Many people remain poor because education and good jobs are available to less than half of the people.
Peru History
Ancient Peru
Like many ancient cultures, the Inca people used mummification to preserve people who had died.

Inca Mummies

Hiram Bingham
Peru is a place of rich historical treasures.   Machu Picchu was a very important city of the Incas. It was abandoned by the Incas and left empty and hidden for several hundred years. Its location in the Andes Mountains made it difficult to find. 

An American
explorer named Hiram Bingham discovered the hidden city in 1911. It has since become an important source of information about the Inca people.
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